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Investigation being conducted after child bitten by a dog in dog park
Several questions are being raised after a child was bitten by a dog in the North Cowichan dog park Monday.
Jessica Lacasse said her daughter Amiya Lacasse, who turns three in February, suffered five bites on her leg and foot after being attacked by a Husky/Malamute.
An investigation into the incident is currently being conducted, said office manager Judi Burnett of Coastal Animal Services, whose company is contracted by North Cowichan to provide animal control services.
Despite posted signs about an age limit of 10 for entering the dog park with the animals, Burnett said she sees that as more of a common sense issue.
"I think the onus still lies with us as the dog owner to make sure everyone is safe,'' she said.
Witness statements have all been taken and the information needs to be sorted out before arriving at any conclusion or recommendation.
"We don't have the file information from the RCMP,'' said Burnett.
"The investigation is pending. We have been in contact with all the parties.''
Jessica Lacasse said she took her daughter and the family's purebred boxer to the park around noon Monday.
"There was nobody there when we got there,'' she said.
People slowly started to arrive and Lacasse said a lady who pulled up got her attention because her leashed dog was barking and growling and clearly eager to break free.
Lacasse said the owner dropped the leash and proceeded through the entrance to her right.
"The dog charged my daughter. She was off doing her own thing.''
Worried that the dog would playfully knock her daughter over, Lacasse started walking toward her daughter to pick her up.
Lacasse said the dog thrashed her daughter so she kicked it several times and received bites on the palm and back of her hand and arm.
Hydro workers in the area noticed the commotion and rushed over to offer assistance.
Both mother and daughter were checked over by ambulance attendants and, fortunately, did not suffer serious injury.
The response from the dog owner did not sit well with Lacasse.
"One of the reasons I wanted to get it out there, the lady was so unsympathetic,'' she said.
"All kinds of breeds are able to attack. This was a Malamute.''
Little Amiya did not appear to be terrorized by the incident.
"She came home and cuddled our boxer,'' said Jessica, who added she's not asking for much to come from the incident.
"I just want an apology, to be honest with you — a little bit of remorse.''
The other lesson that could come out of this, she said, is "if your dog's not OK with children, it shouldn't be at the park to begin with.''